fbpx Biennale Cinema 2020 | Regulations
La Biennale di Venezia

Your are here


77th Venice International Film Festival


Download as PDF

The 77th Venice International Film Festival is organised by La Biennale di Venezia and will be held on the Lido di Venezia from 2 to 12 September 2020. The Festival is officially recognised by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association).


The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue. In addition to the sections mentioned in the following paragraphs, the Festival also organises retrospectives and tributes to major figures as a contribution towards a better understanding of the history of cinema.

3. Official Selection

Only films presented as world premieres that meet the following criteria are eligible for selection:
· Films that were completed after 7 September 2019;
· Films that have not had any form of commercial distribution or exhibition on the Internet;
· Films that have not been previously presented at any other International film festival or cinematographic event, including those in the country of origin.
The Venice International Film Festival reserves the right to select and invite films that will be presented in the Official Selection of the festival, which includes: Venezia 77. Competition 77, Orizzonti Competition, Venice Virtual Reality, Out of Competition, Sconfini, Venice Classics.
Each film invited to the official sections of the Festival will receive a certificate of participation.

3.1 Venezia 77
An International competition comprising a maximum of 21 feature-length films.

3.2 Out of Competition
Some of the most important works of the year will be presented in the non-competing section, for a maximum of 20 films; to these will be added the films produced within the Biennale College-Cinema program. They may include the works of established authors who have participated in previous editions of the Venice Film Festival, documentaries or films in which the spectacular dimension is accompanied by forms of expressive or narrative originality.

3.3 Orizzonti
An international competition reserved for a maximum of 20 films, dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema, with special attention to debut films, young talents who are not yet firmly established, indie features and lesser-known cinema, as well as works that address specific genres and current production, with the aim of innovating and demonstrating creative originality. The Orizzonti section features a selection of competing short films lasting a maximum of 20 minutes, selected on the basis of criteria such as quality and originality of language and expression.

3.4 Venice Classics
This section features the world premiere screenings of a selection of the finest restorations of classic films carried out over the past year by film libraries, cultural institutions and productions around the world, committed to the preservation and cultivation of the cinematographic heritage and the rediscovery of neglected or undervalued works of the past. The section may be completed with the presentation of documentaries about cinema or individual authors of yesteryear or today, that can offer innovative elements for historical and critical assessment.

3.5 Sconfini
This non-competitive section features a selection of a maximum of 10 works of different genres, lengths and targets, provided their length is more than 60 minutes. The Sconfini section may include art-house and genre movies, experimental and artists’ films, TV series and crossover productions, which may be preceded or accompanied by public encounters and conversations with the directors, actors and personalities from the world of art and culture.

3.6 Venice Virtual Reality [ARTICLE REVISED on 15/05/2020]
The Festival will present works in competition and out of competition. A maximum of 30 world-premieres or international premieres of Immersive Projects that can be 360 videos, 3 DOF and 6 DOF interactive works. The works of the teams participating in the fourth edition of the Biennale College Cinema-VR, and a Best of VR will be presented Out of Competition.

4. Venice Production Bridge

A film market has been organized as part of the Venice Film Festival, not only to ensure the continuity of the services developed in the past (Industry Club, Venice Gap Financing Market, Business Centre, Digital Video Library and Market Screenings), but to offer a meeting ground and networking opportunity for all categories of professionals involved in the production of films: producers, funders, distributors, sales, public and private investment funds, banks, film commissions, broadcasters, Internet platforms. The Venice Production Bridge (3 - 8 September) will present a wide selection of projects in an advanced phase of development and pre-funding in the categories of films, documentaries, VR Immersive Stories, TV series. It will also organize the eighth edition of Final Cut in Venice (reserved for works-in-progress from African countries, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria), and the fifth edition of the Book Adaptation Rights Market.

5. Independent and parallel sections

5.1 Settimana Internazionale della Critica (SIC - International Critics’ Week)
A series of no more than 9 films – debut works – independently organised by a commission appointed by the National Syndicate of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI) in accordance with its own regulations.

5.2 Giornate degli Autori
A series of no more than 12 films, independently promoted by the Italian filmmakers association (ANAC) and by the 100 Autori association. Films are selected in accordance with the regulations of these associations.

6. Juries and Awards

Each Jury will operate according to its own regulations. The Director of the Festival may attend the meetings to advise on matters of regulations or procedures, when required.

6.1 Venezia 77
An International Jury composed of no more than 9 personalities from the world of cinema and culture from various countries, excluding any person involved in any capacity in the production of the invited films or who may have an interest in their distribution, will award the following prizes for the feature films:
· Golden Lion for best film
· Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize
· Silver Lion - Award for Best Director
· Special Jury Prize
· Award for Best Screenplay
· Coppa Volpi for Best Actor
· Coppa Volpi for Best Actress
· Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress
There will be no joint winners.
Furthermore, individual films may receive no more than one of the awards listed in the Regulations. Exceptionally and just in one case, after consultation with the Festival Director, the Jury may confer the Coppa Volpi or the Marcello Mastroianni award to an actor or an actress featured in a film which has won the Grand Jury Prize, the Award for Best Director, the Special Jury Prize or the Award for Best Screenplay. This exception cannot be applied more than once on bestowing the awards.

6.2 Orizzonti
An International Jury, composed of no more than 7 personalities from the world of cinema and culture from various countries, excluding any person involved in any capacity in the production of the invited films or who may have an interest in their distribution, will award the following prizes (no joint awards permitted):
· Orizzonti Award for Best Film
· Orizzonti Award for Best Director
· Special Orizzonti Jury Prize
· Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay
· Orizzonti Award for Best Actor
· Orizzonti Award for Best Actress
· Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film

6.3 Venice Classics
A jury composed of students in their last year of film studies in Italian universities, chaired by a personality from the world of cinema and culture, will assign the Venice Classics Award for Best Restored Film, with no joint awards permitted. The jury may also give an award to the best documentary on cinema presented within the section.

6.4 “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film
All the debut feature films presented in the various competitive sections of the Venice Film Festival (Official Selection and Independent and Parallel Sections) are eligible for the Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film. An International Jury of no more than 5 personalities from the world of cinema and culture from various countries, including one producer, will award a prize of 100,000 US dollars, donated by Filmauro, to be divided equally between the director and the producer. No joint awards will be permitted.

6.5 Venice Virtual Reality
An international Jury, composed of 3 figures in the creative world from different countries, excluding anyone involved in any way in the creation of the films invited or who have any interest in their distribution, will award the following prizes:
· Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Immersive Work
· Best VR Immersive Story
· Best VR Immersive User Experience
No joint awards will be allowed.

6.6 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement
The Director of the Festival will make a recommendation to the President and Board of Directors to award two Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement: the first, awarded to a director (or a leading professional figure) for the contribution made through his/her body of work to the advancement of the art of cinema; the second to an actor or actress, who has best interpreted the expressive requirements of the directors for whom he/she has worked, while bringing his/her own personal aesthetic, symbolic and authorial contribution to the dramatic arts.

6.7 The producers and distributors of the films presented pledge to display a notice with the announcement of the award received and the Biennale logo when any of these films are released in theatres.

7. Selection of films

7.1 Conditions for the submission of a film [ARTICLE REVISED on 15/05/2020]
All films submitted must be recently produced, completed not prior to 7 September 2019, and must not have been presented earlier in any other format or length, not even as a work-in-progress, for any selection in previous editions of the Venice International Film Festival. The directors of first or second films (feature length or short length) are invited to provide information on their curriculum vitae as requested in the online submission form, for the purposes of research and documentation. Under no circumstances may films to be presented at the Venice International Film Festival have been shown in prior public screenings. Works previously presented in competing or non-competing sections at other international festivals are also excluded, as are those already available on the web. Immersive Projects in competition may have been screened in public in their country of origin. Possible exceptions to these conditions may be decided at the discretion of the Festival Director.

7.2 Accepted formats [ARTICLE REVISED on 15/05/2020]
For films invited officially to the Venice International Film Festival, only the following screening formats will be accepted:
   • Digital Cinema Package – DCP; 35mm (upon agreement with the Direction of the Festival).
   • Immersive Projects can be 360 videos, 3 DOF and 6 DOF interactive works.
Films invited to the Sconfini section may be accepted in formats other than the ones listed above, on condition that the Director of the Venice Film Festival has given his approval.

7.3 Selection procedure
Regarding the selection of the films submitted, the Festival Director will be assisted by his staff of experts, as well as by a group of correspondents and international consultants, each responsible for different geographical areas. The Cinema Department will put each decision on the record.

7.4 Registration fees
For each film submitted to the selection of the Venice Film Festival, a registration fee is requested to cover administrative costs. The fee is 120 Euro for feature length films and VR Immersive Stories/Experiences, 60 Euro for short films. For films submitted from 1 June 2020 the fee will be 140 Euro for feature length films and 80 Euro for short films. The registration fee for VR Immersive Stories/Experiences will be 140 Euro if they are submitted from 1 May 2020. This fee will not be reimbursed under any circumstance. The costs of screenings organised outside the main venue (Venice) must be met by the participants.

7.5 Materials to submit for the selection
In order to be eligible for selection, the films presenters must, no later than 12 June 2020 (31 May for VR immersive projects):

· fill out the PRE-SELECTION ENTRY FORM, exclusively online;

· fill out the PRE-SELECTION ENTRY FORM for Venice VR (Virtual Reality projects);

· pay the registration fee;
· upload the film file to our streaming service, exclusively through the link that will be indicated at the moment of registration, or send a copy of the film to the Venice Film Festival (formats allowed for feature length films: DCP, DVD, Blu-ray disc; formats allowed for short films: file upload only). In case of Interactive VR, indicate a link to download the film file (the link must be valid at least until 31 July 2020);
· send an information sheet on the director and on the film, with an information kit including a synopsis, director’s notes and the film production context;
· for all non-Italian films, we request the submission of a copy sub-titled in Italian or in English (including films for which the original language version is in English). VR Immersive Stories/Experiences must be in English or in original language with English subtitles.

Any other information regarding the film submitted for selection must be sent exclusively in electronic format to the following address: selection@labiennale.org. The Venice Film Festival is under no obligation to return the films submitted for selection, unless they arrive with prepaid return packaging via express carrier (courier or diplomatic bag). Any returns must be requested no later than 30 September 2020. The work-in-progress materials and films for which no return has been requested may be transferred to the Biennale Archives for exclusive purposes of documentation and research. They will not be used for commercial purposes, in order to protect the interests of the filmmakers and the producers.

8. Invited films

8.1 Entry Form
Invited films will receive an Entry form to be duly completed and returned no later than 21 July 2020. Receipt of the form by the Venice Film Festival implies the legal acceptance of the invitation by all concerned and will be considered definitive and irrevocable.

8.2 Programme
The invitation of a film to participate must remain absolutely confidential until the programme is announced by the Venice Film Festival. Failure to comply will result in its exclusion from the selection. The general scheduling and screening times are the sole responsibility of the Management of the Festival.

8.3 Film copies
The presenters of invited films must send the following on or before 18 August 2020:
· 2 copies of the original version with Italian subtitles (English subtitles for Italian films) for the official gala and press preview screenings. For VR Immersive Stories/Experiences only English subtitles are accepted;
· 1 copy of the original version, preferably with subtitles in English, as a reserve copy (if so wished by those presenting the film);
· 1 DVD or Blu-ray disc of the original version with English subtitles for exclusive internal use by the Festival services;
· the list of subtitles.
All subtitling costs are to be paid by those submitting the film.
Only in exceptional cases, which must be authorised in writing by the Director, the deadline set for 18 August 2020 may be extended. However, should the film copies not be delivered to the Festival by 29 August 2020, the relevant screenings will be cancelled.
The Festival reserves the right to refuse any copy which, on advice of the Festival technicians, is considered to be of inadequate quality for public screening.

8.4 Specifications for the Digital Cinema copy of the film [ARTICLE REVISED on 15/05/2020]
Specifications for the systems used by the Venice Film Festival for digital cinema are available on the official website.

8.5 Catalogue
All the material required for the catalogue of the Venice Film Festival (synopses, cast and credits, biography and a complete filmography of the director, photographs of the director, of the actors and scenes from the film in b/w and colour, plus a brief director’s comment on the film) must reach the Festival as soon as possible, but no later than 21 July 2020, and must be marked as “Material for Catalogue”.

8.6 Press Material
The presenters of films invited to the Festival must send the promotional material for distribution to the press and potential buyers (press book, digital images of the film and the director, video material, audio clips, etc.) no later than 24 August 2020. The advertising and promotional material must state “Film Selected for the 77th Venice International Film Festival” and the words “World Premiere”.

8.7 Official Logo
After the official presentation of the programme by the Venice Film Festival, those submitting the films must explicitly guarantee that all forms of publicity will mention their participation in the 77th Venice Film Festival, including the official logo of the Biennale di Venezia, as supplied by the Venice Film Festival. Films awarded a prize must also indicate which award was won, using the official graphic designs devised and supplied by the Biennale di Venezia.

9. Shipping and insurance

9.1 Shipping Costs
All shipping costs for the films from the place of origin to the venues of the Venice Film Festival and return (including any shipping costs from Venice airport to Venice Lido and custom charges for films sent from outside the European Union), will be at the expense of the participants.

9.2 Addresses
In case of DCPs and 35mm films, the presenters should contact the Cinema Department beforehand for instructions regarding shipment (print.traffic@labiennale.org). Copies of films in DVD and Blu-ray disc formats, as well as all the materials for the selection, must be sent by courier or post directly to the address of the Venice Film Festival: La Biennale di Venezia - Settore Cinema
Ca’ Giustinian - San Marco 1364/a, 30124 Venezia, Italia
Tel. +39 041 5218878 / Fax +39 041 5218854
E-mail Cinema@labiennale.org

From 25 May to 17 September 2020 the address will be:
La Biennale di Venezia - Settore Cinema
Palazzo del Cinema, Lungomare Marconi, 30126 Lido di Venezia, Italia
Tel. +39 041 5218878 / Fax +39 041 5218854

9.3 Shipping of Promotional Material
All costs relative to the shipment of advertising, promotional and photographic material for the films from the place of origin to the Biennale offices or the venues of the Venice Film Festival will be at the expense of the participants, including all customs charges for material sent from outside the European Union. Advertising and promotional material sent to the Festival will not be returned.

9.4 Shipping Insurance
All insurance costs covering the transport of films and press material to and from the Venice Film Festival will be at the expense of those presenting the films.

9.5 Insurance at the Venice Film Festival
The Biennale provides “fully-comprehensive risk” insurance coverage for the entire period during which the film copies are in the care of the Venice Film Festival. The insurance value of a film may not exceed the average laboratory costs for a standard copy. Furthermore, all necessary measures will be taken by the Festival to protect the author’s copyright for works entrusted to the Festival, in accordance with the FIAPF dispositions regarding safeguarding against piracy.

10. Copies for the archives

10.1 Donation to the Archives
Directors and producers of the films presented at the Venice Film Festival are invited to donate a copy of their work, to be stored in the Biennale’s Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts (ASAC), destined solely for the purposes of research and documentation, and excluding all commercial use in order to protect the interests of the filmmakers and the producers. Moreover, the directors and producers of all films that receive awards are obliged to deposit a copy of their film with the ASAC, at least as a Blu-ray disc or a file, complete with the official logo, along with the indication of the competition section and every award won by the film at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.

10.2 Conservation of the films
These copies will be conserved at the ASAC for the sole purpose of documentation and research, excluding any commercial use, in order to protect the interests of the filmmakers and the producers.

11. General rules

Participation in the Venice International Film Festival automatically entails observance of the present Regulations. Producers, distributors or other parties who submit films to the Festival must guarantee they are legally authorised to do so.
The Director of the Venice Film Festival reserves the right to adjudicate any cases not covered by the Regulations herein, and can make exceptions to the Regulations in justified, well-motivated cases. Should any dispute arise regarding the interpretation of any article contained in these Regulations, the original Italian version is to be considered binding.

Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema